A Doll's House (Methuen) - The slamming of the front door at the end of A Doll's House shatters the romantic masquerade of the Helmers' marriage. In their stultifying and infantilised relationship, Nora and Torvald have deceived themselves and each other both consciously and subconsciously, until Nora acknowledges the need for individual freedom. A revised student edition of classic set text: A Doll's House (1879), is a masterpiece of theatrical craft which, for the first time portrayed the tragic hypocrisy of Victorian middle class marriage on stage. The play ushered in a new social era and "exploded like a bomb into contemporary life". "Meyer's translations of Ibsen are a major fact in one's general sense of post-war drama. Their vital pace, their unforced insistence on the poetic centre of Ibsen's genius, have beaten academic versions from the field" (George Steiner)
Al Capone Does My Shirts - When Moose Flanagan and his family move home, yet again, and become residents of the famous prison island Alcatraz, things get interesting. First of all, they share the island with a few other families and a lot of pretty heavy-duty criminals including Al Capone. And secondly, Moose's sister is starting a new school, which everyone hopes will help her become more integrated with those around her. When Moose comes up with some pretty cunning money-making schemes based on his famous co-residents, he does not count on his sister becoming inadvertently involved. This is a charming, funny and utterly enchanting book that skillfully and delicately weaves a humorous tale with some important issues.
And Then There Were None - The book that topped the international online poll held in Agatha Christie's 125th birthday year to discover which of her 80 crime books was the world's favourite. 1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime. When one of the party dies suddenly they realise they may be harbouring a murderer among their number. The 10 strangers include a reckless playboy, a troubled Harley Street doctor, a formidable judge, an uncouth detective, an unscrupulous mercenary, a God-fearing spinster, two restless servants, a highly decorated general and an anxious secretary. One by one they are picked off. Who will survive? And who is the killer? Copies of an ominous nursery rhyme hang in each room, the murders mimicking the awful fates of its `Ten Little Soldier Boys'. The clear winner in an international online poll held to discover the world's favourite Agatha Christie book, this new paperback also coincides with a new 3-part BBC TV adaptation featuring a stellar ensemble cast: Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Maeve Dermody, Burn Gorman, Anna Maxwell Martin, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens, Noah Taylor and Aidan Turner.
Antigone - 'Anouilh is a poet, but not of words: he is a poet of words-acted, of scenes-set, of players-performing' Peter Brook Jean Anouilh, one of the foremost French playwrights of the twentieth century, replaced the mundane realist works of the previous era with his innovative dramas, which exploit fantasy, tragic passion, scenic poetry and cosmic leaps in time and space. Antigone, his best-known play, was performed in 1944 in Nazi-controlled Paris and provoked fierce controversy. In defying the tyrant Creon and going to her death, Antigone conveyed to Anouilh's compatriots a covert message of heroic resistance; but the author's characterisaation of Creon also seemed to exonerate Marshal Petain and his fellow collaborators. More ambivalent than his ancient model, Sophocles, Anouilh uses Greek myth to explore the disturbing moral dilemmas of our times. Commentary and notes by Ted Freeman.
Auslander - When Peter's parents are killed, he is sent to an orphanage in Warsaw. Then German soldiers take him away to be measured and assessed. They decide that Peter is racially valuable. He is Volksdeutscher: of German blood. With his blond hair, blue eyes, and acceptably proportioned head, he looks just like the boy on the Hitler-Jugend poster. Someone important will want to adopt Peter. They do. Professor Kaltenbach is very pleased to welcome such a fine Aryan specimen to his household. People will be envious. But Peter is not quite the specimen they think. He is forming his own ideas about what he is seeing, what he is told. Peter doesn't want to be a Nazi, and so he is going to take a very dangerous risk. The most dangerous risk he could possibly choose to take in Berlin in 1942.
Born to Run - Joy and heartbreak combine in this bittersweet tale of a champion greyhound's journey through life and from owner to owner."The sack wasn't just drifting gently along like everything else, it was turning of its own accord. There was definitely something inside it, struggling against the side of the plastic bag, kicking at it, squeaking and squealing in terror. He had no idea what it might be, only that it was alive and in danger of drowning." When Patrick saves a litter of greyhound puppies from the canal, he can't bear to hand them all over to the RSPCA. He pleads with his parents: couldn't he just keep one of them? But nothing will convince them and Patrick cries himself to sleep - only to be woken by a greyhound puppy licking his face! Patrick christens his puppy Best Mate, and that's what he becomes. Patrick's favourite thing is to watch Best Mate running at full stretch on the heath, a speeding bullet, a cheetah-dog. Until one day Best Mate is kidnapped by a greyhound trainer, and begins a new life as a champion race dog. Suzie, the greyhound trainer's step-daughter, loves Best Mate on first sight and gives him a new name, Bright Eyes. But what will happen when he can't run any more?